Last week, I got to talk about how terrible the Los Angeles Kings are. This week, I get to bring you the glorious news that the Vegas Golden Knights are in second-to-last place above the Kings in the standings. Is it unprofessional to say I love watching our enemies go down in flames? Maybe so, but regardless, I think we should celebrate.
Here’s how this week shaped up in the Pacific:
Anaheim Ducks (7-8-3)
The Anaheim Ducks had another rough week. They played three games and came out with one win. On Tuesday, they faced the Kings in the infamous Freeway Face-Off. The Kings somehow pulled off a 4-1 victory, as their dumpster fire burned on. Ryan Kesler had the lone goal, proving once more that the Ducks need him to stay healthy as the season progresses.
The Ducks’ only win came on Wednesday when the Calgary Flames rolled into town. They won 3-2, with Ryan Miller holding strong between the pipes and making 37 saves. Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg opened up scoring for the Ducks, each netting a goal in the first period. The second period went scoreless for both teams. Ryan Getzlaf found the mesh, giving the Ducks the victory.
Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild was ugly. They fell 5-1 when the Wild paid Honda Center a visit. Pontus Aberg scored the only goal for the Ducks in the second period. John Gibson returned in net and had a .884 save percentage on the night.
The Nashville Predators pay the Ducks a visit today at 7 PT.
Arizona Coyotes (8-7-1)
It appeared the Arizona Coyotes were having a rough week — that is, until Sunday rolled around. No spoilers though, let’s get through the Desert Dogs' bad news first.
The Philadelphia Flyers paid the Coyotes a visit on Monday, and they had a field day with them. The Flyers won 5-2. Alex Galchenyuk scored on the power play in the second period to get Arizona on the board. Richard Panik scored in the third and that was all the Desert Dogs had in them on Monday.
Things got a bit better for the Coyotes when they went to Philadelphia for a rematch on Thursday. They fell 4-5 in overtime, but at least they got a point, right? Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the first for the Coyotes. The second period was all Arizona. Michael Grabner, Brad Richardson and Derek Stepan all scored unanswered goals. Stepan’s was shorthand, at that. They allowed the Flyers to come back in the third period, which led to overtime, where Shane Gostisbehere scored the winning goal.
As the Coyotes progressed on their East Coast journey, they were shut out by the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. It all seemed bad, right? Wrong. Somehow, the Coyotes beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 4-1. That wasn’t just a win, that was a great win. Darcy Kemper was between the pipes for Arizona and made 38 saves. Vinnie Hinostroza had a power play goal in the first period. Richard Panik and Alex Galchenyuk scored in the second. Derek Stepan brought it home in the third period. The Arizona Coyotes are not in last place.
They continue their East Coast roadie on Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings at 4:30 PT.
Calgary Flames (10-7-1)
The Calgary Flames embarked on their California roadie this week and are going home with only one Golden State victory. First came the Anaheim Ducks, where they fell 3-2. Mark Jankowski and Matthew Tkachuk got on the board, but the Flames failed to find a third goal. They took on the Los Angeles Kings next, managing to shut them out 1-0. Travis Hamonic had the lone goal of the game. David Rittich was in net, recording his first career shut out.
The Flames rolled into SAP Center next. I won’t go into too much detail, check our full recap if you’re interested in that. It was a tough game of goaltending between Martin Jones and Mike Smith. Sean Monahan was the only one able to get the puck past Jones in the 3-1 loss.
Calgary takes on the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday at 6 PT.
Edmonton Oilers (8-8-1)
It was a tough week for the Edmonton Oilers. They played three games and lost each one of them. It started off in D.C. against the Washington Capitals. Connor McDavid scored a goal in the first period, while Leon Draisaitl netted one in the second. They ended up losing that game 2-4 to the defending Stanley Cup champions. Then came the Tampa Bay Lightning. Currently sitting in first in the Atlantic Division, they’re playing good hockey right now. Edmonton felt it, losing 2-5. Ryan Strome and Leon Draisaitl earned the Oilers goals.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Oilers played the last place team in the Atlantic, the Florida Panthers next. They fell 4-1. Draisaitl scored the lone goal — boy, he is hot right now. They played the Colorado Avalanche next and again, lost 4-1. This time it was Ty Ratti who had the solo Oilers goal.
Edmonton will look to change their luck around on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens at 6 PT.
Los Angeles Kings (5-10-1)
Happy to report back to you all that the Los Angeles Kings are still bad! They are still in last place! This week they won one of three games, against the Ducks, so I guess we can accept that. They won 4-1. Ilya Kovalchuk, Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Brown and Kyle Clifford all found the back of the net. Meanwhile, goaltender Jack Campbell got himself an assist. They played the Minnesota Wild next and struggled. They lost 3-1, Jake Muzzin’s stick was the only one able to find the back of the net.
They played the Flames next in a rather boring 1-0 loss. Jack Campbell put up a strong fight, making 37 saves for a .972 save percentage. Maybe it’s too early to call, but I don’t think the coaching change has given the Kings the push they need.
The Kings face Patrick Marleau and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday at 7:30 PT.
Vancouver Canucks (10-6-2)
The Vancouver Canucks are still in first place and nothing makes sense anymore. They somehow lost to one bad team and one mediocre team, but beat the Boston Bruins in a crazy goal scoring matchup. More on that later.
First, let’s talk about how they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout. They were up 2-0 thanks to Elias Pettersson and Ben Hutton, but let Detroit back in to tie it up 2-2. They failed to score enough in the shootout to win the game.
Then, they played the Boston Bruins and beat them 8-5. This game was wild. Bo Horvat had two goals, Loui Eriksson also found the net twice against his former team. Erik Gudbranson, Ben Hutton, Antoine Roussel and Jake Virtanen all had goals, as well. Even our old friend Nikolay Goldobin had two assists. Everyone was point producing.
They moved on up to Buffalo and lost again in a shootout to the Sabres. They were losing 1-0 after the first period, but Eriksson and Virtanen each scored in the second period to give them the lead. Gudbranson found the net in the third period, but Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart did as well, sending the game to overtime. Buffalo earned the win.
Brock Boeser was injured this week and will sit out the rest of the road trip. He is day-to-day.
The Canucks continue their road trip against the New York Rangers today at 4 PT.
Vegas Golden Knights (7-10-1)
The Vegas Golden Knights played four games this week and only won one of them. This time last year, they were as lucky as they could be. Now, it seems like that luck may have run out as they hit the East Coast. They lost 3-1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are playing without Auston Matthews. Cody Eakin had the lone Vegas goal. Their luck turned in Ottawa against the Senators. They won that one 5-3, with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, Nick Holden and Jonathan Marchessault all finding the back of the net.
Max Pacioretty made his return to Montreal, but only had one shot on goal in the 5-4 loss. William Karlsson, Brad Hunt, Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch had the goals for Vegas.
The Knights rolled into Boston next. Malcolm Subban started in net against his former club, proving to be a mistake. He had a .892 save percentage on the night, making 33 saves on 37 shots. Again, Cody Eakin had the only Vegas goal.
Vegas return to the West Coast to face the Ducks on Wednesday at 7:30 PT.